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Aberdeen chairman welcomes council’s beachfront stadium vision

Scottish Premiership football club Aberdeen has welcomed a report by the city council which lays out plans for a new beachfront stadium as part of a wider redevelopment project.

Aberdeen currently plays at Pittodrie Stadium, which is located on the city’s beachfront. The club had previously agreed a deal to build a new stadium on the outskirts of Aberdeen but in August the team released a statement saying that it was supporting the council’s new beachfront vision.

Plans for a £50m (€58.5m/$67.8m) ground with a 20,000 capacity in Kingsford had been approved in 2019, but local councillors have now detailed plans for a stadium and leisure plans at the beachfront. The hope is to strengthen links between the city centre of Aberdeen and the beach. 

Aberdeen City Council’s latest City Centre Masterplan Committee Report was published on Friday. Club chairman Dave Cormack has welcomed the report on the project, which would cost around £150m.

Comack said: “The scale of the vision and the pace at which it’s being taken forward signal the council’s real ambition for our city, which the club shares. The revitalisation of the beachfront, with a new stadium as a stunning focal point would, we believe, provide a compelling destination attracting locals and visitors.

“It is exactly the type of forward thinking which is required as Aberdeen rises to meet the challenges which the city was already facing before the pandemic. It will provide a real stimulus as we embark on the road to recovery from both the pandemic and the shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.

“The report and images released by the council today demonstrate the ‘art of the possible’ recognising that the project is still at an early stage of development. The club will work with the council and its consultants to provide input as they develop a detailed business case and funding plan for the project.”

Initial conversations on the beachfront plans took place in January this year, with Pittodrie earmarked for a new housing development. The club said at the time: “We remain committed to a new stadium, sports and community facilities at Kingsford, albeit our plans to progress to the next stage have stalled due to the financial challenges we are facing as a result of the pandemic.”

Aberdeen originally faced issues over the Kingsford site when the potential plans were announced in 2018, after a No Kingsford Stadium group had raised a judicial review into the planning process. This was because the group claimed the site that had been chosen for the new stadium ventured in green belt land. This was later thrown out by a judge in 2019.

Image: Aberdeen/Aberdeen City Council